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Discovery Files - "Sea Cell"

Discovery Files
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Discovery Files - "Sea Cell"

Credit: NSF/Clear Channel Communications/Karson Productions

Audio Transcript:

The same ups and downs that cause you to be sea sick, could well be the energy wave of the future.

I'm Bob Karson with "The Discovery Files" -- new advances in science and engineering from the National Science Foundation.

The swell of the surf, the turn of the tides, the motion of the ocean...we always knew of the immense power of the sea, but had no real way of harnessing it effectively. Thanks to a relatively simple process developed by a couple of engineers at Oregon State University, we're moving towards wide scale production of "sea-lectricity" -- electrical power generated from maritime movement.

Here's how it works. A magnetic shaft is attached to the seafloor and through an electric coil inside a buoy floating on the surface. The movement of the buoy along the shaft induces voltage to produce electrical current -- potentially 250 kilowatts from each one -- enough that a fleet of 200 of these could power a small city.

This new power source is another way that innovation is stemming the tide of rising energy costs.

"The Discovery Files" covers projects funded by the government's National Science Foundation. Federally sponsored research -- brought to you, by you! Learn more at

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